JAMIE MURPHY has done the hard yards over the last 12 months but a step back could now allow him to take two forward and save his Rangers career.

When the winger initially moved to Ibrox on loan from Brighton, it could have been seen as a case of right place at the wrong time. He joined a squad that were under-performing and a team that had no realistic ambitions of achieving the kind of success he knew was needed at the club he had followed all his life.

The arrival of Steven Gerrard changed that, though. A permanent deal was completed and Murphy seemed set to play his part in a new era for the Light Blues.

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That ambition was cruelly taken away from him at Rugby Park when he suffered the knee injury that wrecked his season and has left him off the pace going into Gerrard’s second term as Rangers manager.

Having gone through the gruelling rehabilitation schedule and spent the days, weeks and months dreaming of a first team return, Murphy won’t give up on his Gers career easily.

On his day, he is still good enough to be part of this squad and, when fully fit and up to speed, he has the ability to make a difference.

To get there, he needs a sustained run of first team games, though, and that is not something he will get at Ibrox in the coming months.

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A loan move, perhaps even just until January, could give Murphy the platform he needs to build on.

It would be the best thing for him right now. And Gerrard could eventually reap the rewards, too.